…Or machinery. Or Mechanical Music. This picture is a view into the working parts of a Gavioli fairground organ, built in 1902 – well over a century ago, and computers (as we know them) a long way from being invented!
A piece of ‘sheet music’ for an organ like this comprises a large number (a hundred or more would not be unusual) of rigid cardboard plates, joined together in one enormous ‘zig-zag’ which is carried through a system of rollers and guides as the music plays. These plates have on each of them a pattern of holes, similar to those in pianola music. These holes control a very complex pneumatic system!
It would be hard to put a value on a restored organ of this kind, together with a large collection of music, and to restore one, and then regularly display it at shows, has to become a way of life for the owner.
The front of this instrument is typical; it is beautifully ornamented and decorated, complete with delicately carved wooden figures that dance in time to the music!
If you have any heart for engineering, or music, or especially both, look over one of these instruments if you ever get the chance. Find out if any are displayed near to where you live!
This post continues my involvement in the Alphabet Photo Project.
It's kind to share!
…And, particularly, the light emitting diode, or LED, the marvel that is causing a revolution in all kinds of lighting. Homes, offices, shops, factories, car parks and many more situations are benefiting from the long life and amazing energy savings that this technology brings. Although commercial use of electro-luminescence is not new, The white LED as we know it has only been around for around twenty years – and was prohibitively expensive, to begin with.
It's kind to share!
The LED lamp in this picture is of the so-called ‘LED filament’ type, and at first glance resembles the first electric lamps made by Joseph Swan and Thomas Edison. The background looks black because the exposure has been optimised for clear portrayal of the LED filaments inside the outer bulb. In use, however, when inside a shade, it’s hard to tell the difference, in terms of light quality and colour appearance, between these lamps and traditional tungsten lamps – but they use around 10% of the energy!
Oh, and another key feature: at switch-on, full output from an LED lamp is virtually instant, in contrast with some types of fluorescent lamp, which leave you in the gloom for around a minute after starting, giving you plenty of opportunity to trip over some discarded toys, or whatever!
Mr Swan’s invention has done us well, for almost 140 years. Now, it’s time to move on.